If you’re in a car accident where you crash due to another driver’s actions, even though they don’t actually hit you, it’s called a miss-and-run. This typically happens when you must suddenly swerve or stop to dodge a careless driver, ending in a crash or collision, while the driver you were initially trying to avoid hitting leaves the accident scene.
A miss-and-run accident can leave you questioning whether you are eligible for compensation for your injuries and damages. If another driver caused your accident and fled the scene, regardless of whether there was contact between your vehicles, reach out to a Miami car accident lawyer to guide you through your legal options.
What is a Miss-and-Run Accident?
A miss-and-run accident, sometimes called a phantom vehicle accident, happens when you crash due to another driver’s behavior, even though they don’t actually hit your vehicle. These situations can be confusing because there’s no direct physical evidence from a collision, making it tough to determine who’s at fault.
Examples of miss-and-run accidents include:
- Sudden lane changes. A car abruptly changes lanes, causing you to swerve and hit a road barrier or a third vehicle to avoid the initial collision.
- Non-yielding merge. A vehicle merges onto the highway without yielding, causing you to brake abruptly, which leads to a rear-end collision with the car behind you.
- Red light runners. A driver disregards a red light, and in your attempt to evade them, you collide with road bollards, signage, buildings, or another vehicle.
- Oncoming traffic. Traffic from the opposite direction swerves into your lane, forcing you to steer off the road to prevent a direct collision.
- Unexpected stops. A driver stops unexpectedly, causing you to swerve and crash to avoid rear-ending them.
Common Causes of Miss-and-Runs
Miss-and-run accidents can stem from numerous factors, frequently involving carelessness or irresponsible behavior by another driver, including:
- Distracted driving. Drivers engaged in phone conversations while switching lanes might not realize they’ve neglected to signal. This can cause an accident as other drivers try to dodge the unexpected and erratic lane intrusion. In cases like these, the distracted driver may leave the scene because they never even realized they caused an accident!
- Aggressive driving. Speeding, tailgating, and weaving through traffic can intimidate or surprise other drivers.
- Poor road conditions. Issues like inadequate lighting, potholes, or unmarked construction zones can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, prompting nearby drivers to need to react to try to avoid a collision.
- Wildlife encounters. Animals crossing the road unexpectedly can cause other nearby drivers to swerve abruptly.
- Mechanical failures. If another vehicle experiences a sudden malfunction, like a tire blowout or brake failure, they may be forced into a dangerous maneuver. This can indirectly lead to an accident with another vehicle without any physical contact.
Can You Receive Compensation After a Miss-and-Run?
After experiencing a miss-and-run accident in Florida, you can partner with an attorney to secure a settlement. At Aigen Injury Law, our team of hit-and-run injury lawyers can guide you through the process of seeking compensation, including:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. In Florida, you can access Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage benefits after a miss-and-run, which typically includes up to $10,000 for 80% of medical costs and 60% of lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident.
- Filing a claim against the identified driver. If the negligent driver is located, you can file a claim with their liability insurance for a settlement. This may cover the full extent of your damages, including pain and suffering or additional economic losses.
- Claim with uninsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver remains unknown, you can file with your uninsured motorist (UM) policy, if you purchased one. This compensates you for miss-and-run incidents and can cover your lost wages, medical bills, and emotional distress after a crash.
How Do You Prove a Miss-and-Run Case?
Although it can be difficult to prove and win a miss-and-run case, our experienced lawyers at Aigen Injury Law can help you gather evidence and receive a fair settlement. Here’s how we can help you with a successful outcome for your miss-and-run claim:
- Negligent driver identification. We can investigate your accident to try and identify the careless driver using vehicle descriptions, partial license plate numbers, or any leads from the accident scene.
- Witness testimony gathering. We focus on finding witnesses and getting their statements. This helps piece together the accident for insurance claims and serves as evidence if the case goes to court.
- Evidence compilation. We gather all forms of evidence, including photos of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and skid marks on the road, to create a solid case for your insurance claims and potential litigation.
- Video evidence retrieval. We gather and carefully analyze any available footage to verify the actions of the other driver. This is crucial in negotiations with insurance companies to ensure appropriate compensation.
- Navigating insurance claims process. We manage the complexities of insurance claims, using our experience to maximize your PIP benefits and explore other compensation options, like an uninsured motorist claim.
- Legal representation. Our legal services cover everything from building your case strategy to representing you in court, helping you receive the strongest advocacy and the best chance for a successful outcome.
Get Fair Compensation After a Miss-and-Run
Getting compensation can be challenging in miss-and-run accidents, where there’s no physical contact between the vehicles. But with Aigen Injury Law’s legal expertise, your chances of a successful claim improve.
If you or a loved one was injured in a miss-and-run accident, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.